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Angina: Introduction

Angina is a common type of chest pain that can occur when the heart muscle is not receiving sufficient blood flow and oxygen. Angina is a symptom of some heart diseases, especially atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis is the build-up of plaque and inflammation in the arteries of the body, including the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle (coronary arteries). Atherosclerosis narrows the coronary arteries and lowers the amount of oxygen-rich blood that reaches the heart muscle. Arteries narrowed by atherosclerosis are more likely to develop a blood clot that completely blocks blood flow, resulting in a heart attack.

The chest pain of angina can be mild to severe. The chest pain of angina is different from the chest pain of a heart attack in that angina generally occurs with activity or exertion and goes away with rest and/or medication, such as nitroglycerin. In contrast, the chest pain of a heart attack does not go away with rest or after taking nitroglycerin. To learn more about other important symptoms and complications of angina, refer to symptoms of angina.

Angina can also be a symptom of other types of heart disease, such as aortic valve disease, coronary artery spasm and cardiac arrhythmias, which can all reduce the amount of blood and oxygen that reaches the heart muscle.

Angina can also be a symptom of anemia, in which a low number of red blood cells in the blood reduces the amount of oxygen supplied to the heart muscle.

Risk factors for developing angina are the same risk factors for developing heart disease. These include having high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia, hyperlipidemia), obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle. Other risk factors include being of African-American ancestry, male, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, having a lot of long-term stress, smoking, and having a family history of heart disease.

People who have high C-protein levels, which increases atherosclerosis, are also at a higher risk for heart disease and angina.

Making a diagnosis of heart disease includes completing a complete medical evaluation and history and physical examination. Tests that may be used to diagnose angina include blood tests, exercise stress testing, EKG, X-Ray, and imaging tests, such as heart scan, ultrasound and echocardiogram. A coronary angiogram may also be performed. A coronary angiogram is an invasive procedure that reveals which coronary arteries are narrowed or blocked.

It is possible that a diagnosis of angina can be missed or delayed because the symptoms can be similar to symptoms of some other diseases and conditions. To learn more about diseases and conditions that can mimic angina, refer to misdiagnosis of angina.

Angina is treated with an individualized treatment plan that best fits the individual case of angina, age, a person's life style and other factors. Treatment involves regular medical monitoring and testing, lifestyle and dietary changes, and may include medications and surgery. For more details about treatment plans, refer to treatment of angina....more »

Angina: Angina is one of the causes of chest pain. However, so is heart attack and various other heart disorders. Seek emergency professional medical attention immediately for chest pain. See also symptoms of angina and ...more »

Angina: Misdiagnosis

Regular medical care is the best way to detect angina and heart disease in its earliest stage before they lead to advanced heart disease and critical complications, such as heart attack and heart failure.

It can be difficult to distinguish between the symptoms of angina and the symptoms of a heart attack and other conditions. The only way to determine what is causing ...more misdiagnosis »

Causes of Angina:

The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Angina. There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor about your symptoms.

» Review Causes of Angina: Causes | Symptom Checker » | Assessment Questionnaire »

Home Diagnostic Testing and Angina

Home medical tests possibly related to Angina:

Angina: Symptom Checker

Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Angina, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.

Symptom Checker

Symptom Checker

Angina Treatments

Treatment of angina begins with prevention. The damage done to the blood vessel of the body that lead to angina can often be prevented or controlled with prevention measures. They include regular exercise, not smoking, not drinking excessively, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, and eating a heart-healthy well-balanced diet. Other risk factors, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, ...Angina Treatments

Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Angina may include:

Review further information on Angina Treatments.

Alternative Treatments for Angina

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed as possibly helpful for Angina may include:

Stories from Users for Angina

Real-life user stories relating to Angina:

Message Boards for Angina

Symptom specific forums: The following patient stories in our interactive forums and message boards relate to Angina or relevant symptoms:

Diagnostic tests for Angina:

Various tests are used in the diagnosis of Angina. Some of these are listed below :

  • Physical examination - not really helpful, except during an attack of angina.
  • Look for possible causes of angina including skin and scleral pallor of anemia, murmur of aortic stenosis , arrhythmias
  • Blood tests - Full blood count looking for anemia which may cause angina.
  • Cardiac enzymes and troponin - to rule out heart attack.
  • ECG - may be normal or show evidence of lack of blood flow to a certain area of the heart or show evidence of a previous heart attack.
  • more tests...»

Angina: Animations

Medications or substances causing Angina:

The following drugs, medications, substances or toxins are some of the possible causes of Angina as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

Drug interactions causing Angina:

When combined, certain drugs, medications, substances or toxins may react causing Angina as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

  • Verapamil and beta blocking drug interaction
  • Calan and beta blocking drug interaction
  • Calan SR and beta blocking drug interaction
  • Covera HS and beta blocking drug interaction
  • Isoptin and beta blocking drug interaction
  • more interactions...»

Angina: Comorbid Symptoms

Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Angina may include these symptoms:

Causes of General Symptom Types

Research the causes of these more general types of symptom:

Research the causes of related medical symptoms such as:

Causes of Similar Symptoms to Angina

Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Angina:

Assessment Questionnaire: Questions your doctor may ask (and why!)

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Angina. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist here.

See Angina Assessment Questionnaire (26 listings)

Angina: Deaths

Read more about causes and Angina deaths.

Misdiagnosis and Angina

Heart attacks can be undiagnosed: Although the most severe symptoms of heart attack are hard to miss, there are varying degrees of severity. It is altogether too common more »

Heart attacks can be overdiagnosed: Although many people die from heart attacks, there are also many cases where people fear that they have a heart attack, but actually have something milder. more »

Rare heart condition often undiagnosed: The rare heart condition called long QT syndrome can lead to episodes of palpitations and rapid heartbeat. In rare cases, this undiagnosed condition can be fatal. It should be more »

Heart attack can be over-diagnosed: Although heart attack is often undiagnosed, leading to fatality, it can also be over-diagnosed. People become concerned that a condition is a heart attack, whereas there are various less more »

Alzheimer's disease over-diagnosed: The well-known disease of Alzheimer's disease is often over-diagnosed. Patients tend to assume that any memory loss or forgetulness symptom might more »

Dementia may be a drug interaction: A common scenario in aged care is for a patient to show mental decline to dementia. Whereas this can, of course, more »

Tremor need not be Parkinson's disease: There is the tendency to believe that any tremor symptom, or shakiness, means Parkinson's disease. The reality is that there are more »

Leg cramps at night a classic sign: The symptom of having leg muscle cramps, particularly at night, is a classic sign of undiagnosed diabetes. However, more »

Blood pressure cuffs misdiagnose hypertension in children: One known misdiagnosis issue with hyperension, arises in relation to the simple equipment used to test blood pressure. The "cuff" around the arm more »

Rare diseases misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease: A rare genetic disorder is often misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease for men in their 50's. The disease Fragile X disorder can show only mild symptoms in the early years, and Parkinsons-like symptoms more »

Hypertension misdiagnosis common in children: Hypertension is often misdiagnosed in adults (see misdiagnosis of hypertension), but its misdiagnosis is even more likely in children. Some of the more »

Vitamin B12 deficiency under-diagnosed: The condition of Vitamin B12 deficiency is a possible misdiagnosis of various conditions, such as multiple sclerosis (see symptoms of multiple sclerosis). See symptoms of Vitamin more »

Chronic lung diseases hard to diagnose: Some of the chronic lung diseases are difficult to diagnose. Even the well-knowns conditions such as asthma or lung cancer often fail to more »

Angina: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

Other ways to find a doctor, or use doctor, physician and specialist online research services:

Hospitals & Clinics: Angina

Research extensive quality ratings and patient safety measures for hospitals, clinics and medical facilities in health specialties related to Angina:

Angina: Related Rare Diseases

Rare types of medical conditions and diseases in related medical categories:

Angina: Undiagnosed Conditions

Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:

Article Excerpts about Angina

Chest pain, also called angina (an-JY-nuh). When you have angina, you feel pain in your chest, arms, shoulders, or back. You may feel the pain more when your heart works faster, such as when you exercise. The pain may go away when you rest. You also may feel very weak and sweaty. If you do not get it treated, chest pain may happen more often. If diabetes has damaged the heart nerves, you may not feel the chest pain. (Source: excerpt from Keep your heart and blood vessels healthy: NIDDK)

A recurring pain or discomfort in the chest that happens when some part of the heart does not receive enough blood. It is a common symptom of coronary heart disease (CHD), which occurs when vessels that carry blood to the heart become narrowed and blocked due to atherosclerosis (Source: excerpt from NHLBI, ANGINA: NHLBI)

Angina, or angina pectoris, refers to symptoms such as chest pain or discomfort caused by reduced blood flow to the heart. Angina is often the first sign of heart disease. (Source: excerpt from Angina: NWHIC)

Chest pain, also called angina (an-JY-nuh). When you have angina, you feel pain in your... (Source: excerpt from Keep your heart and blood vessels healthy: NIDDK)

A recurring pain or discomfort in the chest that happens when some part of the... (Source: excerpt from NHLBI, ANGINA: NHLBI)

Angina, or angina pectoris, refers to symptoms such as chest pain or discomfort caused by... (Source: excerpt from Angina: NWHIC)

Definitions of Angina:

Any disease of the throat or fauces marked by spasmodic attacks of intense suffocative pain
- (Source - WordNet 2.1)

Detailed list of causes of Angina

The list below shows some of the causes of Angina mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Angina?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Angina. Of the 41 causes of Angina that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 6 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 2 causes are "common" diseases
  • 0 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 1 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 1 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 39 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Angina:

The following list of conditions have 'Angina' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Angina or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Angina:

The following list of medical conditions have Angina or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.






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Causes of Angina Based on Risk Factors

This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Angina based on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:

  • Diabetes - history of diabetes or family history of diabetes?

    Doctors and specialists: Who should I consult about Angina?

    Depending on the seriousness of the onset of Angina, you may want to consult one of the following medical professionals.

    Important:In extreme cases, always seek advice from emergency services :

    Classifications of Angina:

    Medical Conditions associated with Angina:

    Chest pain (1053 causes), Pain (6458 causes), Breathing symptoms (3381 causes), Chest symptoms (1355 causes), Pain symptoms (6458 causes), Sensory symptoms (7134 causes), Nerve symptoms (9132 causes), Neurological symptoms (9575 causes), Cardiovascular symptoms (3192 causes), Sensations (6520 causes), Throat symptoms (3410 causes), Heart symptoms (2927 causes), Brain symptoms (2787 causes), Respiratory symptoms (5166 causes), Mouth symptoms (6864 causes), Common symptoms (8589 causes), Body symptoms (5672 causes), Breath symptoms (3023 causes), Head symptoms (10192 causes), Face symptoms (8109 causes)

    Symptoms related to Angina:

    Chest pain (1053 causes), Heart attack (138 causes), Chest discomfort (64 causes), Chest symptoms (1355 causes), Heart disease (106 causes), Breathlessness (1528 causes), Radiating pain, Myocardial infarction (38 causes), Asprin, Glyceryl tri nitrate

    Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

    Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

    These general medical articles may be of interest:

    Medical News summaries about Angina

    Our news pages contain the following medical news summaries about Angina and many other medical conditions:

    Related medical articles from our Disease Center for Angina:

    More Ways To Research Medical Signs and Symptoms:


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